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Old 05-03-2004, 10:53 AM   #1
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Worrytomuch HB User
Help! Is he an alcoholic?

I need help!

I have been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. He is such a great person but I think he has a drinking problem. But I'm so confused because he is not what I would consider an alcoholic (typically). He only drinks once in a while but when he does he just doesn't know when to stop. He gets really depressed and down on himself when he's drunk. He gets mean too. Not violent mean, but he just starts feeling too sorry for himself. He yells and says that I don't understand what he's saying (of course I don't, he's making no sense at all). Then he tells me to leave because he wants to be alone. Basically, when he drinks he becomes a totally different person. The real kicker is, the next day he acts as if nothing happened. If anything, he's even more happy the next day. He never seems to have a hangover or any kind of guilt or regret. I try to bring up some things that he said and how much they hurt me but he doesn't even remember.

He has told me before that he had a drinking problem when he was in college which caused him to mess up a lot of things including being drafted to the major leagues and loosing his scholarship. His family and friends confronted him on it (I think its called an intervention) and he changed on his own without AA or anything like that. Now, he is very careful. He never drinks around his family, he's capable of only having one or two beers when he's out with clients or friends, and he NEVER drinks a thing when he knows he has to drive later.

Why is it that he can have such good will power around everyone but me??? What should I do? I love him sooo much. When he's not drinking (which is 99% of the time) he is the most wonderful person and we have a great relationship. We're best friends.

Obviously, his drinking hasn't caused too much problems since we've made it this long. However, we're starting to talk more seriously now and I'm worried. I love him and think he would make a great husband and father. But I'm afraid that his problem will get worse.

Although he only drinks occasionally, I know he loves it. When he does drink, he's happy until he has had one too many. If only he knew when to stop....

I don't know if I should confront him on this. I have talked to him about it and he admits he needs to have more control. But that doesn't matter once he starts drinking. Like I said, he's not even himself anymore when he's drunk. Should I give him an altimatum to get help or I'm leaving? Or will that just make things worse? I notice he only drinks like this when he is feeling stressed or down about something.
Also, is he an alcoholic? I don't want to label him when I don't even know what defines an alcoholic. Does he need to give drinking up altogether? Because there are plenty of times that he manages not to go overboard with drinking. And in almost 3 years, he's gotten this way maybe 10 to 12 times. He doesn't drink on a daily basis. However, I do believe that alcoholism is in his blood. As soon as he lets his guard down it will take over his life.

Sorry I've rambled on so long. I'm just so confused. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know he's the only one who can help himself, but is there anything I can do in the mean time to deal with this myself? I can't see him going to AA alone but is there somewhere we can go to together? Just so that he can see how his drinking makes me feel and I can get a better understanding of why he drinks and what I can do to help him.

Thank You!

 
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Old 05-03-2004, 07:46 PM   #2
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rockingham HB User
Re: Help! Is he an alcoholic?

you can go to AA meetings yourself if he wont go with you. tell him you want to talk about something and set him down and tell him that the drinking to excess has got to stop. the hurtful things he said must stop. you dont deserve to be treated that way. its no matter to me if its not often, it DOES happen, so he needs to stop this behavior. it clearly is a problem to you. its one you should address together thru AA or counseling. taping him when he gets drunk would be ideal, you could show him how poor his behavior is. many would say once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. i tend to agree. this is a real tough situation for you thats for sure. why dont you take it slow for now and give the replies that are sure to follow mine a good read. people here are very good with advice in instances like this. good luck to you

 
Old 05-04-2004, 08:51 AM   #3
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Worrytomuch HB User
Re: Help! Is he an alcoholic?

Thanks for the reply! I never thought of taping him. Good idea! I'm sure he would be ashamed if he saw the way he acted when he's drunk. I know he never means to say the things he says.

He's such an amazing person aside from the drinking. I can't give up on him. But then again, every time I see him drunk, I loose a little more hope for us. I think I'll bring up the way I feel when the time is right and then wait and see what happens.
One thing I can say is I used to enjoy casual drinking but after seeing what alcohol can do to such a great person, I hate it! If anything, it's caused me to see drinking in a different light. It used to be fun and now it's something that I dread. It's not fair that I have to give up something that I had complete control of just because he can't handle it. I feel like anytime we go somewhere that may involve drinking (weddings, parties, etc..) I have to be on guard. And the worst part is that when we are in public he's the life of the party and everyone loves him. He's doesn't get all emotional and depressed until we get home. So therefore I end up looking like the controlling B**** when we are out and I'm encouraging NOT to join in on the next round of shots.
Okay, I'm done venting for now. This board helps even if I don't get replies because it allows me to vent my frustrations without feeling like I'm betraying him. Its hard to talk about this with family and friends because they love him so much and I don't want to make them think any less of him.

Thanks again!

 
Old 05-04-2004, 09:34 AM   #4
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jorob HB User
Re: Help! Is he an alcoholic?

Hi worrytoomuch,

I'm Kathi and I'm an alcoholic and 60 days sober. I wanted to think about your post for a bit before responding because your boyfriend is definatley not the "typical" alcoholic. What is important is to say that if you feel this is a problem, then it is whether or not he is an alcoholic.

He obviously thought he had a problem at one time as well. It's kind of interesting because my brother told me 4 years ago that he was an alcoholic and I was very surpised. At the time all he told me was that he blacked out a couple of times when drinking.

I spoke with him recently (he's in Alaska so I don't see him but talk to him a few times a year), and I told him that I'm now going to AA. So I asked about his situation. He said that he was in therapy in 1995 and between him and the counselor they determined that he was a binge alcoholic. He didn't drink every day, but when he did drink he could not stop and would have black outs. He was afraid that it would progress to worse behaviors. I asked if he went to AA and he said no, that the counselor said that his type of alcoholism was a little easier to handle because he didn't drink everyday that it was easier to quite on his own. He has not had a drink since 1995.

Your boyfriend sounds very much like him. If he can do it on his own that's fine but I wonder if that's possible since he went through this once before and now is doing it again. I know not everyone believes in AA but it has saved me. Many times people shy away from it because they think it's all based on religion and that is simply not true. I have my own set of beliefs that do not follow any type of religion and I have never felt uncomfortable in AA because of that.

If he does not want to go to AA, you can always go to Al-Anon. I have heard that those meetings have really helped people living with people who have an alcohol problem. It sounds like you love him very much and since he has quit once before there is hope that he would be open to do something about this again since it is important to you. Hopefully it will be important to him.

Take care
Kathi

 
Old 05-05-2004, 02:33 PM   #5
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Worrytomuch HB User
Re: Help! Is he an alcoholic?

Thanks Kathi!

He does sound very similar to your brother. The difference is that your brother quit completely. I think that my boyfriend wants to believe that he can still drink if he can do it in moderation. But I'm not sure that's possible. It's not like he ever plans on getting drunk. Once he starts, I don't think he realizes how much he is drinking. Is there a chance that he can just gain control of his drinking without giving it up completely? I don't no much about alcoloism, but I've always assumed that if its in you, drinking is not an option. But then again, I don't know enough to lable him an alcoholic either....

I will find out more about Al-anon. Thanks for your advise!

 
Old 05-08-2004, 11:28 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: New York
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suzziq HB User
Re: Help! Is he an alcoholic?

Hi, I'm Suzi. I'm new here and was reading your post.
I think that an addict of any kind is... when you pick up the first drink (drug) and you can't put it down, you have a problem. It doesn't have to be on a daily basis. If you can't just have a social drink, there is a problem.
I've been to plenty of AA meetings and heard a lot of different speakers and everyones story is different. Some drank everyday, some once in a while till they blacked out.
Hope this helps you some. And I got a lot out of Al-Anon, back in the day.

 
Old 05-08-2004, 11:44 AM   #7
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Location: Valdez, Alaska
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Dear Maggie HB User
welcome, suzziq

You are right about that. WELCOME

I've noticed that there are some people that start drinking to 'self medicate' Everyone else thinks they are causing the problem ... & it is very bad for them to try to cover up their anxiety, their depression, their suicidal tendencies with drinking alcohol. It will definitely make things worse.

I can think of 3 people that have been exposed to the chemical of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup. They are in a very bad situation already, and by adding alcohol, they are harming themselves more than the ordinary person would. This is an ethyl alcohol and it is in the same family as the 2-butoxyethanol, it's complex form

It could push them over into cancer or premature death by adding to their chemical load ... more than the average person.

But that brings up another point. This is a chemical that causes all of the gulf war syndrome symptoms AND CFS, etc

Every since 2-butoxyethanol has been used widely in our country, more and more Americans are coming down with long term fatigue - it's an epidemic

Don't just check the regular stuff, either when they see the doctor next. Add the retic ratio & see if there are too many immature red blood cells

 
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